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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 507
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:54 pm 
 

Earlier today I was watching this TED talk on the song structure of pop music.

Youtube: show


In the video, Colin Morris, the talk's host, shows these matrices he's made for the lyrics of songs that are meant to highlight any repeated words. The idea is that you write a song's lyrics across the top and side of a grid, and then study the intersections in the grid. If at any intersection the top word matches the side word, you fill in that cell in the grid sort of like this:

Image

Because the top and side lyrics will inevitably match themselves 1:1, every matrix will have a solid line running from top left to bottom right like the above example. However, the repetitive nature of song lyrics will also fill in spots on the grid other than the center. I've always been interested in visualization of music, so I decided to try my hand at making some of these matrices for several metal and rock songs to see what kind of interesting patterns I could get.

The first few I tried didn't turn out very interesting because they don't really have all that much repetition outside of common words.

Spoiler: show
Bolt Thrower - Salvo
Image

Iron Maiden - Hallowed be Thy Name
Image


Colin notes in the video that the most repetitive songs make the most interesting patterns, so at this point I decided to try songs I knew were a bit more sing-along-y than the first two. This approach still produced some boring patterns, but also yielded a few that I think are pretty interesting.

Spoiler: show
Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
I kinda like this one because of the barely defined square in the upper left, and the little QR code things.
Image

Dio - Holy Diver
Lots of barely defined squares. Sort of interesting but not really.
Image

Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls
Same as above but with slightly better definition.
Image

Blood Stain Child - S.O.P.H.I.A.
Had high hopes for this one but it turned out boring
Image

Annihilator - Alison Hell
This pattern has this noticeable increase in density in the bottom right corner. It looks like all the dots are flowing towards that point.
Image

Gary Moore - Over the Hills and Far Away
The negative space in this one makes an off-center cross thing that's kinda cool.
Image

Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
This one is easily the most dense pattern I got. The amount of repetition in EotT is ridiculous, but makes for one of the more interesting patterns.
Image

Megadeth - Peace Sells
This is my personal favorite, and definitely the most unique of all the patterns I got. All of the patterns are symmetrical, but the lack of "fuzz" dots makes the symmetry really pronounced on this one.
Image

Quiet Riot - Cum on Feel the Noize (Slade cover)
The pattern looks like a bunch of sperm. Get it? Cus this is a sex jam? No? Okay it was funnier in my head.
Image


Anyway, these are the first few patterns I got, with varying amounts of success. I kinda want to get some of these as canvas prints but I don't have the space or money for that right now. I'll probably make some more soon cus' I'd love to get another pattern as cool as the Peaces Sells pattern. I can also make a tutorial on how to make these if anyone is interested.

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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 961
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:51 pm 
 

This is really cool. I bet Bathory's Equimanthorn would look like a weird flag, with what I imagine would be the large black square in the bottom right. I really like how these make interesting patterns while at the same time teetering between a kind of nerdy/psychotic fascination with music. The Gary Moore one is my favorite.
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gasmask_colostomy
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 271
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:00 am 
 

Well that was unexpectedly cool. If something similar could be made for the musical part, that would be amazing.

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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 507
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:08 am 
 

Apteronotus wrote:
This is really cool. I bet Bathory's Equimanthorn would look like a weird flag, with what I imagine would be the large black square in the bottom right.


Bathory - Equimanthorn
Turned out okay I guess. You were definitely right about the solid black square in the bottom right though lol
Image

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Well that was unexpectedly cool. If something similar could be made for the musical part, that would be amazing.

I'm sure that's doable if you have access to sheet music or tabs. I think there'd be a lot more variables to consider though. Like, are all instances of a given note considered the same, or do we make a distinction when a note is played in one fret or string versus the other? I think you might end up with either an incredibly dense, or totally barren matrix depending on the song, and the direction you go with. Also, what about differences in playing techniques like picking, tapping, or sweeping? Or even effects and distortions?

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gasmask_colostomy
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 271
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:53 am 
 

tahu157 wrote:
I'm sure that's doable if you have access to sheet music or tabs. I think there'd be a lot more variables to consider though. Like, are all instances of a given note considered the same, or do we make a distinction when a note is played in one fret or string versus the other? I think you might end up with either an incredibly dense, or totally barren matrix depending on the song, and the direction you go with. Also, what about differences in playing techniques like picking, tapping, or sweeping? Or even effects and distortions?

I like complexity in visual designs, so I'd love to see as much of that as possible. But you're right that it wouldn't account for the feel of a song. On the other hand, it might produce surprising similarities between otherwise very different kinds of song.

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Peyp
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 188
Location: California, United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:57 pm 
 

I got a cool one for Spazztic Blurr - Bedrock Blurr.

Spoiler: show
Image


I also tried Xibalba Itzaes - Sar Ibteeloob Cab but it was super underwhelming and I'm not going to post it. I guess the best results come from songs with commonly repeated phrases, which is why I want to try Nanowar of Steel - In the Sky if I have a chance.
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Due to the unfortunate reality of our guitarist fucking my girlfriend of almost 7 years WITCHROT will be taking an extended hiatus. I however will continue the band in another space and time... Thanks for the support, stay heavy. Also our drummer died...


RIP DIAMHEA


Last edited by Peyp on Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 507
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:19 am 
 

Peyp wrote:
I got a cool one for Spazztic Blurr - Bedrock Blurr.

Spoiler: show
Image


I also tried Xibalba Itzaes - Sar Ibteeloob Cab but it was super underwhelming and I'm not going to post it. I guess the best results come from songs with commonly repeated phrases, which is why I want to try Nanowar o Steel - In the Sky if I have a chance.

That is definitely a cool one. Where did that little square in the upper left quadrant come from though? It doesn't have a mirror image on the other side of the divider line like it should. Some of the single dots in that region also don't have mirrors now that I look at it more closely.

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Peyp
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 188
Location: California, United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:01 am 
 

tahu157 wrote:
Peyp wrote:
I got a cool one for Spazztic Blurr - Bedrock Blurr.

Spoiler: show
Image



That is definitely a cool one. Where did that little square in the upper left quadrant come from though? It doesn't have a mirror image on the other side of the divider line like it should. Some of the single dots in that region also don't have mirrors now that I look at it more closely.


Yup, that's an error. My bad :-P

I don't normally do this kind of stuff, and I hopped in and attempted everything by hand without considering any easier ways to get the desired image. And on top of that, I forgot that everything was supposed to be symmetrical across the divider :ugh: The lyrics to that part are "onward, onward, ever onward" and should be right on the divider (more specifically, moved to the right). I'll post a fix when I have time, most likely alongside a "Nanowar of Steel - In the Sky" matrice. But to my eye, the rest of the dots in that area look correct.
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Witchrot wrote:
Due to the unfortunate reality of our guitarist fucking my girlfriend of almost 7 years WITCHROT will be taking an extended hiatus. I however will continue the band in another space and time... Thanks for the support, stay heavy. Also our drummer died...


RIP DIAMHEA

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Morn Of Solace
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1343
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:40 am 
 

The ultimate one should be Richard Benson's "i nani" :lol:

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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 507
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:35 pm 
 

Peyp wrote:
I don't normally do this kind of stuff, and I hopped in and attempted everything by hand without considering any easier ways to get the desired image.

Gotcha, I thought you were getting it automatically so I was trying to figure out how that square could appear at all. Anyway, I assume you're using excel or google sheets to make these. This is what I do in excel to get a perfect mirror image automatically:

Once you have the lyrics all written out, put this formula in cell B2:
Code:
=IF(B$1=$A2,1,0)

That formula will put a one in the cell if the words at the intersection match and a zero if they do not. When you click on the cell, you'll get a little square in its bottom right corner.
Image
Click and drag that square all the way to the right until you hit the end of your lyrics. Then drag it all the way down until you hit the end of the lyrics on the side. That should cover the whole grid in ones and zeros. Then select the whole sheet, and set everything's font color to white. While everything is still selected, go to the conditional formatting button in the home tab and click "new rule" from the drop down menu.

Image

Under the "select a rule" spot select "format only cells that contain." Then in "edit the rule description" set everything as follows:

Code:
Cell value>equal to>1


Click the "format..." button. In that menu set font color and background color to black. Click okay, and every cell that contains a one/a match will now be colored in. It's kind of a long process in its own right, but definitely easier than filling in everything by hand.

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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 8957
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:49 pm 
 

Requesting Gwar's Metal Metal Land.
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droneriot
cisgender

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 7803
Location: Spahn Ranch
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:07 pm 
 

Well, if you want some non-metal to compare the repetition of metal lyrics, try "Fuck the World" by Insane Clown Posse and "Männer" by German singer/songwriter Herbert Grönemeyer.
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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 507
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:22 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Requesting Gwar's Metal Metal Land.


GWAR - Metal Metal Land
Damn this one is actually really cool. Nice choice.
Image

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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 507
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:36 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
Well, if you want some non-metal to compare the repetition of metal lyrics, try "Fuck the World" by Insane Clown Posse and "Männer" by German singer/songwriter Herbert Grönemeyer.

I'll probably have to get to these two later. That ICP one has a ton of lyrics lol

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Manic Maniac
Grammaritically Challengated

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:58 pm
Posts: 210
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:35 pm 
 

Better software to use: https://colinmorris.github.io/SongSim/#/custom Just copy-paste Lyrics into the box on the left, then click away from the box, and wala! You should also click "show all" under "Single-word matches"
Image
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Peyp
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 188
Location: California, United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:18 pm 
 

tahu157 wrote:
Peyp wrote:
I don't know how to use a spreadsheet app properly lol

Here let me teach you how to make these in 1/20th of the time it takes you


Thank you very much! It seems like someone already found a website that does it for you, but I was wondering if there was some code I could use to reflect row 1 with column A, so I wouldn't have to write all of the lyrics twice?
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Witchrot wrote:
Due to the unfortunate reality of our guitarist fucking my girlfriend of almost 7 years WITCHROT will be taking an extended hiatus. I however will continue the band in another space and time... Thanks for the support, stay heavy. Also our drummer died...


RIP DIAMHEA

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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 507
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:55 pm 
 

Manic Maniac wrote:
Better software to use: https://colinmorris.github.io/SongSim/#/custom Just copy-paste Lyrics into the box on the left, then click away from the box, and wala! You should also click "show all" under "Single-word matches"

Ah man, I didn't realize Colin made that available. I've been doing all this work for nothing!

Peyp wrote:
Thank you very much! It seems like someone already found a website that does it for you, but I was wondering if there was some code I could use to reflect row 1 with column A, so I wouldn't have to write all of the lyrics twice?

If you copy all of the cells that have lyrics in them, and then right click in the cell you want to start in for the second set, you should get several different paste options. Look for paste-transpose. The icon is a clipboard with two axis arrows on it.

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Peyp
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 188
Location: California, United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:21 pm 
 

My last two for now - except I'm curious whether a Macabre song would look cool here.

Spoiler: show
Nanowar of Steel - In the Sky essentially parodies the softness and repetition of other power metal bands, which is why I wanted to do this one. The middle part looks so crazy only because I accounted for the part not in the lyrics where they repeatedly shout "sky".
Image


Spoiler: show
Texas Hippie Coalition - Pissed Off and Mad About It is the pinnacle of stupid. Go look at the lyrics for yourself. The sheet isn't super cool but just shows how formulaic the song is.
Image


Thanks for all your help tahu. Though I'm not sure it's necessary at this point :ugh:
_________________
Witchrot wrote:
Due to the unfortunate reality of our guitarist fucking my girlfriend of almost 7 years WITCHROT will be taking an extended hiatus. I however will continue the band in another space and time... Thanks for the support, stay heavy. Also our drummer died...


RIP DIAMHEA

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